Securing Travel, Protecting People - At the Transportation Security Administration, you will serve in a high-stakes environment to safeguard the American way of life. In cities across the country, you would secure airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America's transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. For additional information about our agency please: Click HereLearn more about this agency
This Personnel Security Specialist position is located in the Personnel Security Section, Security Branch, Security Services and Assessments Division, Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service (LE/FAMS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Duties include but are not limited to:
- Adjudicates complex issues and reports of investigations; interpreting and applying suitability (fitness) factors and adjudicative guidelines and making recommendations effecting final suitability (fitness) and security clearance eligibility.
- Reviews requests for personnel or security clearances to assure that all required information is provided, requesting missing information from the originators, and granting clearances when derogatory information is absent.
- Interacts with applicants, senior managers and other team members in support of the personnel security program objectives and initiatives associated with all aspects of background investigations.
- Communicates with field offices to provide case information or to resolve issues related to personnel security requirements or procedures.
- Manages individual caseloads and ensuring metrics and timelines are satisfied.
- Prepares written correspondence to include but not limited to letters of interrogatories, case summaries, eligibility notifications, and notices of adverse actions.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
- You must have reached the minimum age (18) at the time of application.
- You must complete a favorable Background Investigation (BI).
- Selective Service registration is required.
- See additional "Conditions of Employment" and "Other Information" section
Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.
Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.
To qualify for the SV-F Pay Band (equivalent to GS-5/7/9), you must meet one of the qualification requirements outlined below.
Experience: If you are qualifying using experience, your application must clearly outline three (3) years of progressively responsible general experience, one year of which was equivalent to at least the SV-E Pay Band or GS-4 in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector. Specialized experience is defined as experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Such specialized experience is defined as:
- Analyzing problems, gathering pertinent data, and recognizing solutions;
- Planning and organizing work; AND
- Communicating effectively orally and in writing.
Education: A four year course of study leading to a Bachelor's or higher-level degree in any field from an accredited college or university.
Note: Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
To qualify for the SV-G Pay Band (equivalent to GS-11), you must meet one of the qualification requirements outlined below.
Experience: If you are qualifying based on experience, your application must clearly outline one year of specialized experience at the SV-F Pay Band or GS-9 in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector. Specialized experience is defined as experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Such specialized experience is defined:
- Using the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) electronic questionnaire for investigative processing (eQIP), the OPM secure web portal and the OPM Personnel Investigations Processing System (PIPS);
- Adjudicating various levels of background investigations and rendering suitability/fitness and clearance eligibility decisions; AND
- Writing letters of interrogatories, case summaries, eligibility notifications, and notices of adverse actions
Achievement of a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a field of study which is in or directly related to this position.
Three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree.
LL.M., if related.
Combining Education and Experience: Combinations of successfully completed graduate level education, beyond the second year, and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements for this position, and may be computed by first determining your total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the band level; then determining your education as a percentage of the education required for the band level; and then adding the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent.
GRADUATE EDUCATION: Education at the graduate level in an accredited college or university in the amounts indicated above meets the requirements for this position. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent one year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the one year of full-time study requirement.
Note: For positions requiring positive education requirements, or if you are using education to meet all or part of the qualification requirements, you MUST submit a copy of your transcripts or an itemized list of college courses from an accredited college or university, which includes equivalent information from the transcript (course title, semester/quarter hours, and grade/degree earned) in your resume. The information must be provided with the application by the closing date of the announcement. If selected, the applicant must supply a transcript or certification of degree.
National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.
You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
Eligibility to apply for other Federal positions: TSA is an Excepted Service agency exempt from most of Title 5 United States Code, including regulations which apply to displaced Federal employees (CTAP/ICTAP) of other agencies, and employment with TSA does not confer "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established an Interchange Agreement, which allows most permanent TSA employees to apply and be considered for vacancies in Competitive Service agencies. Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at: http://www.opm.gov .
To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into this position.
DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.
If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancies announced in their absence.
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual’s employment experience will be used only to determine the person’s qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Although an individual’s personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information, click here .
Payment of relocation expenses (Permanent Change of Station) is not authorized.
More than one position may be filled from this announcement.
If you are entering TSA employment on an appointment without time limitations, you must serve a basic trial period unless you have already met the requirement.
TSA policy requires verification of Selective Service registration for male applicants born after 12/31/59. For more information click here .
View common definitions of terms found in this announcement.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on a comparison of the position requirements against the quality and extent of the experience and/or related education as reflected in your resume and supporting documentation. You are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show possession of the competencies required for this position. We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If, after reviewing your resume and any supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your category placement may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.
Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Grouping procedures. Under Category Grouping, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:
Best-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all Selective Placement Factors (SPF) as determined by the job analysis.
Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrates acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.
Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.
If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies that are relevant to the duties of this position and must be fully supported by information in your resume:
- Knowledge of the laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and/or agency procedures related to Personnel Security Programs, Accessing Classified Information and OPM Suitability requirements to adjudicate various levels of background investigations and render suitability, fitness and clearance eligibility decisions; and processing due process cases.
- Knowledge of personnel security processes and of personnel investigations processing systems necessary to perform background investigations; and, uses various computer applications effectively to analyze and communicate personnel security related information in the appropriate format.
- Ability to explain and communicate personnel security policy, regulations and procedures to clients and stakeholders in order to generate understanding, share information, and (where necessary) impart instruction on applicable program requirements.
- Skill in writing security correspondence to internal and external stakeholders, utilizing appropriate format and guidelines while ensuring compliance to applicable laws, regulations and procedures.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
In addition to a resume and the assessment questions, you must submit copies of any of the following documents if you are applying based on current or former Federal Government Status, Veterans' Preference or eligible Veterans' Service (a veteran who was honorably discharged from the armed forces after completing at least three (3) years of continuous active duty service), or education or a combination of education and experience:
SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action - Current TSA employees are not required to submit an SF-50 to support eligibility for Status consideration.
If you are not a current TSA employee: you must submit your most recent Notification of Personnel Action SF-50 (or equivalent document) to support your eligibility for Status consideration.
NOTE: An award SF-50 (i.e. cash or time off award) does not indicate grade or level (i.e. pay band) or tenure to determine your eligibility for this position and will not be accepted.
DD-214 - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference or eligible Veterans' Service, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge.
SF-15 and VA Letter - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later.
Transcripts - If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed under the Qualifications and Evaluations section, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript(s) with your application. If selected, an official/sealed college transcript(s) will be required to verify education prior to employment.
If you do not submit required documentation described in this job opportunity announcement, your application will be deemed incomplete and you will be ineligible for further consideration for this vacancy.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select “Benefits.” Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
Employees who transfer to TSA from an agency that allows employees to maintain an annual leave balance higher than the maximum accumulation for the appointed position will have their leave ceiling set to the maximum accumulation for the appointed position (e.g., United States duty location - 240 hours, foreign duty location - 360 hours, or TSES position - 720 hours). TSA will not make a monetary payment for any leave forfeited under these circumstances.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Please Note: All of the following must be received in our office by 11:59 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time) on the closing date of this announcement. If we do not receive all required information by the closing date, your application may not be considered.
Your application must include:
2. Self Assessment Questionnaire for this position
3. Applicable supporting documents (see Required Documents Section)
Click the "Apply Online" button below and follow the prompts to apply.
We strongly encourage you to apply online. If you are unable to apply online, please contact the TSA HRAccess Help Desk before the closing of this announcement for alternative options on how to apply. The Help Desk is available by phone at 1-877-872-7990 between the hours of: 7:00AM - 10:00PM ET Monday - Friday, 11:00AM - 3:00PM ET Saturday, or 12:00PM - 4:00PM ET Sunday. If outside these hours, please email your question or concern to Helpdesk@mailserver-hraccess.tsa.dhs.gov or fax 1-877-872-7993.
When contacting the Help Desk please provide your contact information, the Job Announcement Number of the position you are interested in, and your questions or concerns.
Agency contact information
HR Help Desk
AddressDHS/Transportation Security Administration
Shared Service Center
2650 Park Tower Drive
Merrifield, Virginia 22180
The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We will notify you of the outcome of these steps when they have been completed. You may also check your application status by visiting the Candidate Dashboard.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/524704000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.